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The Vault

Walther MP-PP Prototype at James D Julia

During the late 1920s, it looked like the German Army was going to replace the P08 Luger with a less expensive sidearm, and several major German companies developed prototype guns to meet this anticipated need. The replacement ended up being postponed for nearly a decade (the P38 would be the eventual result), and this led [...]

Two Prototype Webley Automatic Pistols at James D Julia

So, I may have gone a bit overboard and filmed more video at this upcoming Julia auction than I actually had time to publish before the auction takes place (but there were so many amazing guns there!). One way I am going to cheat my way out of the dilemma is to post two videos [...]

Shansei .45ACP Broomhandle Mauser at RIA (Video)

During the Chinese civil war in the 1920s and 30s, international arms embargoes made rifles difficult to acquire – which led to a lot of popularity for pistols with shoulder stocks. The C96 “broomhandle” Mauser in particular was popular, and it was copied by a number of Spanish firms for sale in China as [...]

Colombo Ricci Automatic Revolver

The Colombo-Ricci is (was) an automatic revolver reportedly designed in Italy around 1910, and chambered for the standard 10.4mm Italian revolver cartridge. Very little information is available on the gun, but it seems reasonable to suspect that it was developed to compete for an Italian Army service handgun contract, as trials were going on through [...]

Slow Motion: Steyr-Mannlicher M1905

The 1905 Steyr-Mannlicher was developed by Ferdinand Mannlicher, one of Europe’s most prolific gun designers. It uses the 7.65mm Mannlicher cartridge, which is roughly equivalent to .32 ACP, with a 10-round fixed internal magazine. The 1905 is, in my opinion, a fantastically elegant pistol, handles very well, and has minimal recoil thanks to its light [...]

Chinese Pistols Coming Soon!

I just recently spent some time at RIA doing video for their upcoming Regional auction, and happened to notice a batch of guns they were in the process of sorting and writing descriptions of for the April Premier auction: a whole slew of Chinese Mystery Pistols.

I really need to come up with a better [...]

Slow Motion: M1912 Steyr Hahn

The Steyr M1912, or Steyr Hahn (meaning “hammer”, to distinguish it from the striker-fired Steyr 1907) has a number of features that make it unusual among pistols today. It uses a fixed internal magazine fed via stripper clips, and a short recoil, rotating barrel locking system. Only a handful of other pistols have been made [...]

Savage Prototype .25ACP (Video)

So, this is a video I took over a year ago, and then lost track of – a prototype .25ACP Savage pistol. It is plain blowback, not using the rotating-barrel mechanism of the mainstream .32 Savage pistols. Savage made several different types of .25 prototypes, but never ended up putting any of the into production.

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Touring the Iraqi Tariq Pistol Factory

Nick Crawford contacted me after seeing my recent video on the Tariq pistol RIA is selling this weekend, to mention that he’d had the opportunity to poke around the factory where those pistols had been made. I asked Nick for details, and he generously obliged with the following writeup of his experiences:

I watched Ian’s [...]

American Eagle Lugers at RIA

Many people are aware of the .45 caliber Lugers made for US military field trials – but far fewer people realize that Lugers were both tested by the US military and sold commercially several years prior to the .45 tests.

In 1900, the US military put several hundred 7.65mm Luger pistols into field trials with [...]